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Beet (Beetroot) History

Beets as a medicine and food coloring


beets, beetroot, vegetable, recipes, receipts

Fresh Beets (Beetroot)

© 2007 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone

Beet History

Beets, botanically-known as Beta vulgaris, are native to the Mediterranean. Although the leaves have been eaten since before written history, the beet root was generally used medicinally and did not become a popular food until French chefs recognized their potential in the 1800's.

Beet powder is used as a coloring agent for many foods. Some frozen pizzas use beet powder to color the tomato sauce.

The most common garden beet is a deep ruby red in color, but yellow, white, and even candy-striped (with red and white concentric circles) are available in specialty markets. Outside the United States, beets are generally referred to as beetroot.

It is estimated that about two-thirds of commercial beet crops end up canned.

More About Beets (Beetroot):

Beet Cooking Tips
Beet (Beetroot) Selection and Storage
Beet History
Beet Fact Sheet - Beets at a Glance
Beet Recipes
Beet / Beetroot Photo © 2007 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.


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